I managed to grab Rudy Giuliani as he left a robotics and technology competition at the Southern New Hampshire University this morning in Manchester (he rode in on a Segway) and asked him about Hillary Clinton seeming to embrace the same February 5 strategy that he has been pursuing for months.
Giuliani gave a short chuckle and said the strategies were not the same.
He described his own campaign’s thinking as follows: “It’s no more complicated than this. There are 28 primaries left, whoever wins 15 or 20 of them is going to be the candidate. You cannot do it with one primary, the question is, we believe, you have to be competitive in many states and that is the strategy that we have followed.”
He continued, “I believe we have spent the most time in this state in terms of days, the second is Florida. So that reflects our theory that New Hampshire was important, that we could do well here, and that Florida was really important and we could do really well in Florida. All you have to do is look at the polling, there’s no great science to this. You figure out where do you have very little chance, where do you have a chance and where do you have a good chance and then you divide up your resources and try to win those states.”
He said his decision not to compete in Iowa was “a calculation of risk-reward.”
“Mike DuHaime understands it much better than I do, he can do it with charts,” Giuliani said of his campaign manager. I asked him if his senior advisor, Tony Carbonetti, understands it as well. “Intuitively,” Giuliani said.
“Tony has it intuitively on his heart and Mike has it on a piece of paper. Together they got it.”
Rudy responded to another reporter asking for a prediction about how he would do in New Hampshire.
“We’re going to do well,” said Giuliani. “And then we’ll be ready to live and fight another day.”
After the event, Frank Guinta, the mayor of Manchester and a Rudy supporter, said he still had confidence in Giuliani having a strong showing in New Hampshire, but he too couched his optimism in the Giuliani contingency plan, something he noted other one-time front-runner candidates were increasingly doing.
“He has more of a 50-state strategy which he has implemented from day one,” he said. “You are now seeing Hillary and Mitt [Romney] embracing a 50-state strategy.”